A Family of 20,000-Year-Old Armadillos Found
Mon, April 19, 2021

A Family of 20,000-Year-Old Armadillos Found

 

Gigantic armadillos (Glyptodon) roamed South America for 30 million years before facing extinction around 10,000 years ago. Previous studies claimed that early men overused their hard shells for shelters, thus, must be blamed for the animal’s extinction. Their shells were particularly important to these animals because they used this protection against other animals, including an ancient, flightless, carnivorous bird known as the Terror Bird. 

 

Credits: Flickr

 

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeological and Paleontological Investigations of the Pampa Quaternary (INCUAPA) were delighted after being informed that Juan de Dios Sota, an Argentinian farmer, discovered four 20,000-year-old giant armadillos. “We went there expecting to find two Glyptodonts when the excavation started and then two more were found! It is the first time there have been four animals like this on the same site. Most of them were facing the same direction as they were walking towards something,” Pablo Messino, an on-site archaeologist, said. 

 

Credits: All That's Interesting

 

According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they saw on the news or read in history books, this isn’t the first time that an armadillo was found in the region. In 2015, another farmer discovered a three-foot-long shell belonging to a 30-million-year-old armadillo. The researchers are now wondering whether the four recent armadillos represented a male and female parent leading their young. They explained that a regional drought revealed the ancient specimens which had once been submerged in the river.

 

Credits: All That's Interesting

 

Ricardo Bonini, an on-site paleontologist, stated that the discovery could help explain the ancient family structure of armadillos. “These kinds of cases, in which several individuals together who died in the same circumstances, are really exceptional and undoubtedly will give us a lot of information about these enigmatic animals and will allow us to test several hypotheses that we have been driving in recent years,” he said.

 

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